I’ve had some good opportunities to practice what the Spirit has been walking me through with 1 Peter 5 lately. Sometimes it’s lessons I really need, but not so keen on learning (listening) or doing the hard work in order to practice it and grow. It’s not easy! But always worth it.
So, working through 1 Peter 5 and the action words that stand out to me; we’re ready to step into our next word, watchful. Have you ever read something in the bible and it just doesn’t seem to fit with the surrounding passage? Well, that’s what I felt about this portion of scripture. It’s like the first part of casting your anxieties upon the Lord and being watchful for Satan didn’t have much to do with each other. Perhaps they forgot to start a new paragraph? Well, I’m learning and loving how each word is beautifully and purposefully linked together. It’s making sense now, and His timing for teaching us is always good.
Something I wonder about is the order of this scripture. We are to humble our selves and cast our cares, and be watchful. I don’t know about you, but spiritually speaking I wasn’t ready to be watchful two years ago, the humbling and casting came a little easier earlier in my walk. This isn’t to say it’s done well all the time. I knew about being watchful in other areas of my life, and the importance. However, to be watchful of satan would have been a little overwhelming and scary in some ways early in my walk. But, I don’t want to be devoured! So it’s time to be watchful, the next step. Its amazing how the Spirit allows things to come into your life, opportunities to practice the lessons, when your ready and the time is right.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, and at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares of you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:6-8 (ESV)
Watchful. Some translations say, “be sober, be vigilant” (KJV), “Be serious! Be alert! (HCSB), “Keep a cool head, stay alert.” (MSG). And the watchful, or be alert, here means to keep awake, watch; be vigilant, (be) watch (ful). It sounds simple, but often harder than we think.
Another place this word is used is with Jesus and the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus asks Peter, James and John to remain (abide) and watch. As Jesus comes back from praying, he finds the disciples asleep and once again asks them to watch. Jesus asks them to watch and pray that they would not enter into temptation. (Mark 14:32-42)
What do we need to be watchful of? As the scripture in 1 Peter 5 continues, it lines out being watchful of satan. But what exactly are we watching for? I wonder if the disciples wondered what they were supposed to be watching for.
So, what do we need to be watchful of? Anger that creeps up and explodes, confusion, distractions, selfishness, the easy route that might not be the best, lies about yourself or others? What do you need to be watchful for? Satan comes in many forms and feeds us a lot of lines.
Do you remember the portion of 1 Peter 5 about casting our anxiety? The word anxiety comes from the thought of distraction. Distraction is a hard one for me. In today’s world, there are so many distractions I’m not even going to begin to name them, but many stem from electronics. It’s an easy route to get sucked into the void of the web, and distracted.
It says that satan is like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Distractions can devour our time and relationships in the blink of an eye. And it can happen when we least expect it. A few days ago, I looked up a you-tube video of a roaring lion. And the first video captured my attention. A lion sat, roaring in a low repetitive growl for nearly five minutes. It wasn’t an all encompassing, powerful roar we tend to think of. The low, prowling roar of satan’s lies can confuse, distract, entice, and lead us astray. And as a lion hunts, they devour the one separated from it’s community.
Becoming aware of what we need to be watchful of is half the battle. However, what do we do with “it” once we’ve identified something? We can cast it off to God, pray, worship, read or quote scripture, talk to a friend. Take action. Today I had the opportunity to talk to a friend, being real and honest about something going on in my life. We were able to pray together and lift it up to God. It’s what community can do for each other. Iron sharpens iron. We can watch each other’s backs. And, if we’re being aware and watchful, sharing with someone when we’re feeling divided and struggling, they can hold us accountable, surround us with prayer and serve.
Humble yourself, cast the cares of this world to the Lord and be watchful. Watchful for the enemy; and watchful for how our Creator is growing and drawing us nearer to him. Next up, Resist and Suffer; so exciting, right?! (It’s because we are called to His glory.) I can’t wait to dive in and then share with you. For now, I’m practicing the watchfulness of a diligent daughter who casts the cares to her Father. How about you?